After 100 years of searching, an international team of physicists has confirmed the existence of Einstein's gravitational waves, marking one of the biggest astrophysical discoveries of the past century. It's a huge deal, because it not only improves our understanding of how the Universe works, it also opens up a whole new way of studying it.The gravitational wave signal was detected by physicists at LIGO on September 14 last year, and the historic announcement was made at a press conference this morning. Experts are already saying the discovery is a shoo-in for a Nobel Prize
Gravitational waves are so exciting because they were the last major prediction of Einstein's general theory of relativity that had to be confirmed, and discovering them will help us understand how the Universe is shaped by mass."Gravitational waves are akin to sound waves that travelled through space at the speed of light," said gravitational researcher David Blair, from the University of Western Australia. "Up to now humanity has been deaf to the universe. Suddenly we know how to listen. The Universe has spoken and we have understood."